Intense Body Surfing at Bondi Beach, Australia

 A beautiful day for the beach – we head to Bondi.

We assume that it will be packed – it is a gorgeous weekend day, and that will make it more of the true experience of Bondi. When we get there, we see that it is beautiful. And not so packed as we had feared, although there are lots of people there.

A Very Big Sea

The water at Bondi is much cooler here than it was up north. There are lots of surfers in the water – all directed by signs to the south end of the beach; the north end is for body surfing. The body surfing is fun – because it is again today a very big sea, the body surfing is far more intense than it was on the northern beaches, and you need to be very aware of where others are and what they are doing – there are so many people in the water. If the wave breaks far enough ahead that the people farther out are riding the wave, you need to dive down to avoid a collision with them – but the swells are of such a size that you really need to either ride them or duck under them – you don’t want to have them hit you full force.

We get quickly waterlogged by the intensity of the waves, and after drying off we walk up to the esplanade for a bit to eat. Like in any good beach town, the esplanade is full of tacky souvenir shops, greasy takeaways and stalls offering junk. After lunch and some light window shopping, we grab the bus back to Darlinghurst.

The Countdown to Mardi Gras has Begun

When we arrive back downtown, we find that it is the annual “Shop Yourself Silly” day, a Mardi Gras event where most of the shops in this area donate a portion of their day’s takings to the Bobby Goldsmith Foundation, which raises funds for people living in poverty with HIV/AIDS. The streets in the late afternoon are full of shoppers, carrying their treasures and cheering on the drag queens who have been installed on the backs of trucks up and down the street, and who, amidst the monologues and the songs, exhort the crowds to “spend, spend, spend!”

We check email, and our friend Jacqueline has sent an ode that is coincidentally, but completely, appropriate for the moment.

Armani who art in Holts.
Hallowed be thy shoes.
Thy Prada come.
Thy shopping done.
On Bloor St. as it is in Paris.
Give us this day, our Visa Gold.
And forgive us our balance.
As we forgive those who charge us interest.
Lead us not into Wal-Mart.
And deliver us from Sears.
For thine is the Chanel, the Gaultier, and the Versace.
For Dolce and Gabbana

Amen Indeed!


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